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So what is an “IT Plumber” anyway?

Today information technology is everywhere and is depended upon by many people. People use their smartphones to keep in touch with friends around the world, get recommendations on where to eat dinner, and purchase tickets for the movie later – usually all at the same time! Houses have automated thermostats and security systems, and cars collect vast amounts of data on performance and notify the dealer when maintenance is required.  Big internet companies collect data on everything we do online, and then use this information to show us ads or cell to other companies for their own purposes. The fact that businesses run on IT and communicate with other businesses and customers is taken for granted like the air we breath.

This blog is about the infrastructure that lets this all happen, and will touch on things like:

  • devices used by the user (PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and smart watches)
  • connected devices (the internet of things)
  • servers
  • underlying technologies such as integrated chips, and storage.
  • operating systems
  • middleware (DBMS, email system, transaction managers, etc.)
  • networking (routers, hubs, LAN, WAN, wireless, etc.)
  • the internet
  • the tools used to manage all the components
  • security and privacy
  • the processes (like DEVOPS and ITIL) that (sometimes) make everything run smoothly

In short, this blog may touch anything to do with IT other than the applications themselves. And even then applications may be mentioned as they are ultimately what the user is interested in.

But I still haven’t explained why I use the label “plumber” have I? In my view IT infrastructure is a lot like plumbing. Everyone depends on it and just expects it to just work, and usually doesn’t even notice it until it doesn’t work. But when it doesn’t work things can “back up” and work grinds to a halt. And then who do they call to fix it – a plumber! Hence the name – “IT Plumber”. Also, when I took engineering at university the engineers called themselves “Plummers” so the label stuck.